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Open AccessArticle

Translingual Practices and Reconstruction of Identities in Maghrebi Students in Galicia

1
Department of Linguistics and Oriental Studies, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain
2
Departmento de Lingua e Literatura Españolas, Teoría da Literatura e Linguística Xeral, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, 15782 Santiago de Compostela, Spain
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Languages 2019, 4(3), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4030063
Received: 8 May 2019 / Revised: 9 August 2019 / Accepted: 10 August 2019 / Published: 15 August 2019

Abstract

In this article, we explore the emergence of a new translingual repertoire among young adolescents of Moroccan and Algerian origin in Galicia and the role it plays in reconstructing the transnational identity of young people within the Maghrebi diaspora. The data include a multimodal corpus with spoken and written interactions, collected as part of a classroom action research project, in which each student reconstructed their family and school language repertoire, as well as a WhatsApp group chat set up with the same young people. The results of our analysis reveal how the intercrossing of parental and adolescent agency plays a crucial role in dealing with the new multilingual translingual repertoire. The findings also indicate how this repertoire is deeply rooted in Moroccan Arabic as the family language and the incorporation of local languages, namely Spanish and Galician, and relies heavily on translingual multimodal practices, associated with transnational trajectories and the local schooling process of these young people.
Keywords: translingual multimodal practices; multilingualism; identities; Maghrebi students in Galicia and diaspora translingual multimodal practices; multilingualism; identities; Maghrebi students in Galicia and diaspora

1. Introduction

In this article, we explore how a new translingual repertoire has emerged among young adolescents of Moroccan and Algerian origin in Galicia and the role of the new communicative repertoire in addressing issues of identity (Moustaoui Srhir 2016, 2019a; Pereiro et al. 2017). The research was conducted in Arteixo, a rurban municipality located on the outskirts of the city of A Coruña (Galicia, Spain). Arteixo has traditionally been a bilingual Spanish/Galician community1. However, over the last few decades, migratory trends have led to the emergence of a new multilingual and multicultural ecology (Prego Vázquez and Zas Varela 2015, 2018, 2019; Zas Varela and Prego Vázquez 2018). In the 1960s, the municipality’s population was less than 11,000 inhabitants, and there was a strong outbound migratory flow abroad. This contrasts sharply with the 2018 data for the municipality released by the Galician Statistics Institute (IGE, based on its Spanish initials), which revealed a population of 31,917, 5% of whom were of foreign origin. It must be remembered that this percentage does not include those who have been granted Spanish citizenship, foreigners not registered on the municipal census, or, in the case of adolescents, those that were born in Galicia but are of foreign descent.
This new multilingual ecology, positioned on the limits of superdiversity (Vertovec 2007; Mutsaers and Swanenber 2012; Wang et al. 2014), provides a space shared by speakers of varieties of Galician and Spanish (Galician, Venezuelan, Uruguayan, Argentinean, or Colombian Spanish), Moroccan and Algerian Arabic, Amazigh, French, Wolof, Russian, Romanian, and Portuguese, amongst other languages. These languages and varieties form symbolic frames of self-identification and self-affirmation (Bourdieu 1977) and are of particular relevance amongst young people of Maghrebi origin, some of whom, although they were born in Galicia, comprise a strong allochthonous group within the community and the educational environment, both in terms of their number and social visibility.
Students of Maghrebi origin account for around 0.8% of the total school community. The data obtained from the sociolinguistic survey that we conducted during the 2018–2019 school year2 (Rodríguez Neira et al. 2019) reveal that 78 pupils aged between 12 and 17 years of age claim to have a knowledge of Arabic. Moreover, 52 of these students indicated that they have an intermediate or advanced mastery of Moroccan Arabic, compared with 26 who believed that they have a low level of competency. A total of 46 of 78 believed that they have an intermediate or advanced mastery of Modern Standard Arabic, and 32 believed they have a low level of competency. This contrasts with other varieties of Arabic and Amazigh, for which the language skills of the respondents are lower: 18 respondents claimed to have an intermediate/advanced knowledge of other Arabic varieties—a number that drops to just 13 in the case of the Amazigh language.
Within this educational context, the Maghrebi group can be considered to form a community of practice (Wenger 2001), in which its members forge a network of dense, multiple social relationships (Milroy 1980), in which young people of Moroccan origin exert a strong leadership. In this sense, the Moroccans not only outnumber the Algerians, but the group has also adopted the Moroccan Arabic variety used in the central-southern region of Tadla-Azilal for their group conversations, as we observed in our ethnographic research project that targets the educational community of this municipality and that has been ongoing since 2016.
This research, which falls within the frame of critical ethnographic sociolinguistics, focuses on this community of practice made up of young students of Maghrebi origin in Arteixo (Galicia, Spain) and aims to provide the answer to the following research questions based on a corpus of multi-sited data:
What are the translingual resources used by this community of practice, and to what degree are they relevant to identity issues?
What are the linguistic ideologies underpinning these practices, and how do they affect various forms of language resistance and maintenance?
What are the underlying processes involved in addressing this new translingual repertoire?

2. Methodological Considerations3

This research was conducted within a multidisciplinary frame, combining critical ethnographic sociolinguistics (Fairclough 1990, 1999; Heller 2002; Martín Rojo 2010), interactional sociolinguistics (Gumperz 1982), and an educational approach called critical language awareness (García 2008; Hawkins 1984, 1992). The methodology employed included frame analysis (Goffman 1981). The concepts of translanguaging (García 2009) and translanguaging moments (Wei 2018) were also included in order to address hybrid practices and the emergence of this new multilingual and translingual repertoire (Corona et al. 2013; García et al. 2018; Llompart 2016; Rampton 1995). Bourdieu’s concepts of agency and habitus (Bourdieu 1977) are also pertinent to the interpretation of the results obtained.
The data include a multimodal corpus with spoken and written interactions, collected as part of a classroom action research project, in which each student was invited to reflect on their family and school language repertoire, based on the personal reconstruction of their language biography as well as on a WhatsApp group chat we set up with the same young people. The multi-sited and multimodal ethnographic collection of data allowed for the creation of a corpus containing data from various contexts, which in turn was intended to reconstruct the emic vision of the social actors in light of these new multilingual realities.
Multimodality is of particular relevance in our study due to adolescents’ continued use of varying repertoires and semiotic systems in their interactions (Kress 2010). As we will show, they deploy a mix of simplified script, various alphabets, and semiotic systems. WhatsApp is a new, delocalized, multimodal space positioned on the boundary between orality and literacy in which translingual practices emerge spontaneously. This multi-sited corpus allows us not only to contrast meta-communicative practices in formal and informal contexts but also to observe the divergence between metalinguistic awareness and the practices actually employed. The following types of data complement the corpus:
  • Discussion groups, based on the Jigsaw technique (Aronson 1978), in which language trajectories are constructed in a group format;
  • The reconstruction of family language biographies based on an activity known as ‘the Language Tree’, in which participates record the languages of their ancestors in a genealogical tree format, together with the languages used in their family environment, both in Galicia and their country of origin;
  • Longitudinal interviews;
  • A discussion group set up via a WhatsApp chat ([email protected]@s), providing the respondents with a forum for reflection on the various languages included in their family trajectories;
  • A quantitative sociolinguistic survey (Rodríguez Neira et al. 2019).
The data selected for the qualitative analysis of this article focus on students of Maghrebi origin: 28 pupils (18 males and 10 females) aged between 12 and 17 years of age. The activities were carried out within the framework of the Arabic classes developed in the program of this school, entitled “Arabic Language and Moroccan Culture”. Three researchers and the Arabic teacher also participated in the activities. One researcher and the Arabic teacher are Moroccan and male. The other two researchers are women and Spanish. None of the three researchers belongs to the local Maghrebi community. The three researchers hold three different positions with respect to this community. The Moroccan researcher connects with them because of their culture of origin but lives in Madrid (far from Arteixo). One of the researchers lives in the same village as the pupils, and she also has a life trajectory linked to migration. The third researcher lives in another locality in Galicia and has had different types of experiences (research and teaching) with migrants of Maghrebi origin from other networks in Galicia.

3. Results of Our Analysis

Our analysis shows that the translingual repertoire involved in addressing the identity of young people within the Maghrebi diaspora is the result of parental and adolescent agency intercrossing within the community of practice forged by these young students. In this sense, we observed three key agentive processes (Bourdieu 1977) that intercrossed to form a transnational (Guarnizo 1997) habitus (Bourdieu 1977): (a) parental agency in maintaining the language of origin; (b) adolescent agency in handling family multilingualism; and (c) adolescent agency in handling new forms of language resistance within the context of digital discourse.

3.1. Parental Agency in Maintaining the Family Language

Parental agency plays a crucial role in transmitting and maintaining languages of origin. The language socialization of young Maghrebis takes place mainly in the language varieties of origin within the family context. At home, they watch television programs broadcast from Morocco or other Arab countries and use social media to maintain an ongoing flow of communication with friends and relatives in their places of origin, where, in turn, they visit practically every summer with their parents.
The families also encourage activities aimed at the acquisition of Arabic language skills and cultural knowledge. Families pass on their religious practices and attend the local mosque, which acts not only as a place of worship but also as a space in which to learn and reproduce the language and cultural practices of their countries of origin. The municipality has two Maghrebi cultural centers that organize religious activities and courses in Modern Standard Arabic, which are attended by the majority of children and young people.
Families also enroll their children in the program entitled “Arabic Language and Moroccan Culture” (PLACM, based on its Spanish initials). Set up following the signing of a cultural cooperation agreement between the governments of Spain and Morocco, the principal aim of this program is to teach Arabic and Moroccan culture to Moroccan students enrolled in junior and secondary schools in Spain, although it is also open to non-Moroccan pupils and teaching staff. A total of 47 pupils at the school were enrolled in this program during the 2018–2019 school year; the majority were of Moroccan origin, although the program was also utilized by Algerian pupils. No autochthonous students and teachers or those of any other nationalities signed up. Practically all the Moroccan and Algerian pupils at the school take part in this activity.
Parental agency is therefore of particular relevance in ensuring the lingual vitality of the languages of origin amongst young Maghrebis and guaranteeing sociolinguistic cohesion within their families and language communities (Moustaoui Srhir 2019a, 2019b). The following fragment is an example of the parental agency process and highlights the importance of the family context as the hub in which this transnational habitus unfolds (Bourdieu 1977).
Example 1.
¿Qué lengua o qué lenguas son las más importantes?
1. 
INV: ¿Qué lengua o qué lenguas de las que habéis señalado cada uno en su árbol es la más importante?
2. 
INV: Para vosotros.
3. 
(Todos los alumnos contestan a la vez y no se entiende)
4. 
INV: No vamos a hablar así, que cada uno diga una idea ¿vale?
5. 
(0.72)
6. 
INV: Vamos a empezar por aquí.
7. 
SR: Eh, árabe
8. 
INV: XXX
9. 
(0.52)
10. 
INV: ¿Por qué xxx?
11. 
SR: Porque es la que más se usa en Marruecos.
12. 
CG: xxxx.
13. 
INV: Estamos hablando no solo de Marruecos, sino de Marruecos, España, la familia, el barrio, la escuela, todo.
14. 
(0.20)
15. 
INV: Todo vuestro entorno.
16. 
(Niño 3 asienta con la cabeza)
17. 
INV: ¿Vale?
18. 
(2.03)
19. 
INV: ¿Vale? árabe.
20. 
(0.65)
21. 
SR: Eh, ¿cómo, qué de qué?
22. 
INV: ¿Por qué es la más importante para ti?
23. 
SR: Porque es la que yo uso y considero más importante.
24. 
INV2: ¿Tú la usas?
25. 
(0.42)
26. 
SR: Sí, xxxx.
27. 
(Todos los alumnos se ríen y no se escucha lo que dice el alumno que está interviniendo)
28. 
INV: xxxx
29. 
INV: ¿Sí?
30. 
(1.33)
31. 
INV: árabe ¿con la familia, no?
32. 
SR: Sí, con la familia, pero xxxx.
33. 
INV: Vale, ¿XX?
34. 
SM: Dariya.
35. 
INV: ¿Dariya también?
36. 
(1.21)
37. 
INV: ¿Por qué?
38. 
(0.60)
39. 
SM: Porque es la que nos enseñan nuestros padres y nos la siguen enseñando.
40. 
(0.42)
41. 
SM: Para
42. 
INV: Uhu.
43. 
(0.66)
44. 
INV: Y ¿pensáis que la vais a transmitir a vuestros hijos también?
45. 
SM: Sí.
46. 
INV: ¿La tenéis que aprender porque solamente porque la hablas todos los días o porque es algo muy importante y tenéis que mantenerla y luego transmitirla...?
47. 
(0.31)
48. 
INV: ¿No?
49. 
(0.38)
50. 
INV: ¿Por qué?
51. 
(0.26)
52. 
INV: árabe ¿qué pensáis los demás?
53. 
CG: Dos.
54. 
CR árabe.
55. 
INV: árabe.
56. 
(0.53)
57. 
CG: Yo dos el español y el, y el, el árabe.
58. 
CG: Dariya.
59. 
INV: Dariya.
a. 
(0.49)
60. 
INV: Son muy importantes, ¿por qué?
61. 
CG: ¿Por qué? Porque yo las uso las dos para hablar en casa con los amigos, todo.
b. 
(0.25)
62. 
CG: La familia, el cole.
63. 
(0.36)
64. 
CG: Es que, es que es la que más uso con todo.
65. 
INV2: ¿El gallego no xxxx?
66. 
CG: A ver.
67. 
(0.82)
68. 
CG: En español entra el gallego, pero yo no hablo gallego solo en clase de gallego.
69. 
(0.75)
70. 
CG: Sabes, yo yo como personalmente yo el gallego no lo uso.
71. 
(0.85)
72. 
(N5 gesticula con las manos y encoge los hombros)
73. 
CG: ¿Sabes?
74. 
(2.30)
75. 
INV: O sea, en términos de uso crees que el español y el dariya son los más importantes porque los usas más.
76. 
CG: Para mí, sí.
77. 
INV: Para ti.
78. 
(0.19)
79. 
INV: Sí, sí, para ti xxx.
80. 
(1.30)
80. 
CG: Para ti.
82. 
(N5 le pone la mano en el hombro a su compañero de al lado mientras lo mira)
83. 
INV: ¿Quién, quién quiere hablar, opinar?
84. 
CR: Yo.
85. 
(0.28)
86. 
(N5 señala a N6 con el dedo)
87. 
CR: Yo.
88. 
INV: xxxx.
89. 
CR Yo, dariya.
90. 
INV: ¿También?
91. 
CR: Sí.
92. 
(0.57)
93. 
CR: Porque, porque yo soy de una religión que está en ese idioma.
94. 
(0.39)
95. 
INV: ¿La religión está en este idioma?
96. 
(0.66)
97. 
INV: ¿Y crees que por ser musulmán tienes que hablar esta lengua?
98. 
(0.35)
99. 
CR: Hombre, sí.
[Which language or languages are the most important?
1. 
REA: Which language or languages that you marked on your individual trees are the most important?
2. 
REA: To you.
3. 
(All the pupils answer at the same time, and therefore, their responses are unintelligible)
4. 
REA: Let us not do it that way; each person should put forward their idea, OK?
5. 
(0.72)
6. 
REA: Let us start with you.
7. 
SR: Er, Arabic
8. 
REA: XXX
9. 
(0.52)
10. 
REA: Why xxx?
11. 
SR: Because it is the one spoken most in Morocco.
12. 
CG: xxxx.
13. 
REA: We are not just talking about Morocco, but Morocco, Spain, the family, the neighborhood, school, everywhere.
14. 
(0.20)
15. 
REA: Your environment as a whole.
16. 
(Child 3 nods)
17. 
REA: OK?
18. 
(2.03)
19. 
REA: OK? Arabic.
20. 
(0.65)
21. 
SR: Eh, like, like what?
22. 
REA: Why is it the most important one for you?
23. 
SR: Because it is the one I speak, and I consider it to be the most important.
24. 
REA2: So, you speak it?
25. 
(0.42)
26. 
SR: Yes, xxxx.
27. 
(All the pupils laugh, and it is impossible to make out what the pupil who is speaking is saying)
28. 
REA: xxxx
29. 
REA: So?
30. 
(1.33)
31. 
REA: Arabic, with the family, right?
32. 
SR: Yes, with the family, but xxxx.
33. 
REA: OK, ¿XX?
34. 
SM: Dariya.
35. 
REA: Dariya as well?
36. 
(1.21)
37. 
REA: Why?
38. 
(0.60)
39. 
SM: Because that is the one our parents taught us, and they still do.
40. 
(0.42)
41. 
SM: For
42. 
REA: Uh-huh.
43. 
(0.66)
44. 
REA: And do you think you will pass it on to your kids as well?
45. 
SM: Yes.
46. 
REA: Do you have to learn it just because you speak it every day or because it is important and something you should maintain and then pass on …?
47. 
(0.31)
48. 
REA: Is that not the case?
49. 
(0.38)
50. 
REA: Why?
51. 
(0.26)
52. 
REA: Arabic. What do the rest of you think?
53. 
CG: Two.
54. 
CR Arabic.
55. 
REA: Arabic.
56. 
(0.53)
57. 
CG: In my case two: Spanish and, and Arabic.
58. 
CG: Dariya.
59. 
REA: Dariya.
a. 
(0.49)
60. 
REA: Why are they so important?
61. 
CG: Why? Because I speak both languages at home, with my friends, everyone.
b. 
(0.25)
62. 
CG: Family, school.
63. 
(0.36)
64. 
CG: And it is like the one I use most, for everything.
65. 
REA2: Don’t you speak Galician xxxx?
66. 
CG: Well.
67. 
(0.82)
68. 
CG: Galician and Spanish go together, but I do not just speak Galician in Galician language lessons.
69. 
(0.75)
70. 
CG: You know, personally, I, I do not speak Galician.
71. 
(0.85)
72. 
(Child 5 gesticulates and shrugs his shoulders)
73. 
CG: You know what I mean?
74. 
(2.30)
75 
REA: In other words, in terms of usage, you think that Spanish and Dariya are more important because you use them more.
76. 
CG: In my case, that is true.
77. 
REA: In your case.
78. 
(0.19)
79. 
REA: Yes, yes, in your case xxx.
80. 
(1.30)
81. 
CG: In your case.
82. 
(N5 places his hand on the shoulder of the classmate sitting next to him and turns to look at him)
83. 
REA: So, who would like to say something and give their opinion?
84. 
CR: Me.
85. 
(0.28)
86. 
(Child 5 points to Child 6)
87. 
CR: Me.
88. 
REA: xxxx.
89. 
CR In my case, Dariya.
90. 
REA: So, you agree?
91. 
CR: Yes.
92. 
(0.57)
93. 
CR: Because that is the language of my religion.
94. 
(0.39)
95. 
REA: Religion is in that language?
96. 
(0.66)
97. 
REA: So, you think that because you are a Muslim, you have to speak that language?
98. 
(0.35)
99. 
CR: Basically, yes.]
This episode is a multi-party interaction (Lerner 1996) in which the researcher uses glances, gestures, and references to a second party to single out the various respondents or encourage self-selection. The respondents forge an informal interactional frame (Goffman 1981), as shown in the jocular byplays (Goffman 1981) reflected in lines 27, 82, and 86. The researcher initiates the first part with an adjacency pair (lines 1–2) by posing the following question: “Which language or languages are the most important?” The various respondents complete the pair with references to Dariya/Moroccan Arabic4 (lines 7, 19, 23, 26, 31, 34, 35, 52, 54, 55, 57, 58, and 59), amongst others. All the pupils except one, CG, claim that for them, Dariya/Moroccan Arabic is the most important language. It is worth noting that CG, the only boy who considers Spanish to be equally as important as Dariya, comes from a mixed family comprising a Galician mother and a Moroccan father—a situation that is still relatively rare in the community under study. In contrast, Galician, the language of Galicia, does not hold a position of relevance amongst the children’s preferences.
The responses provided by these students reflect a leaning towards their culture of origin from the anchor point of the “here and now in Galicia”. Together, they construct a chronotope (Bakhtin 1989) that neutralizes the sense of opposition between here (Galicia) and there (Morocco). In this sense, Dariya is important to SR, because it is the language spoken in Morocco (line 9), and it is also the language he uses most in Galicia (line 18) with his family and friends. Dariya indexicalizes a key ‘delocalized’ and transnational chronotope that positions these young people in a territorialized space between Galicia and Morocco, which they use to construct a new ‘territory’ based on their identity and translingual practices.
When the researcher asks for reasons that justify this response (lines 10, 22, and 37), the respondents jointly evoke key aspects of their identity: Morocco, their place of origin (lines 11 and 13); the frequent use of this language when interacting with friends and relatives (lines 23 and 29); their upbringing and transmission from family members (lines 39, 44, and 45); their own role in transmitting the language (lines 44 and 45); and the religion of Islam and its association with the language (lines 93–95; “Because that’s the language of my religion”). In this sense, language—Dariya/Moroccan Arabic; place of origin—Morocco; and the sense of Muslimness that is often associated with the Arabic language act as creatively effective indexical elements (Silverstein 1976), intended to reconstruct key aspects of the sense of identity of being a young Moroccan within the diaspora.
Essentially, the family provides a space for transnational habitus, encouraged by parental agency, which stems from the creation of a delocalized space that connects here (Galicia) and there (Morocco) through a series of social, linguistic, religious, economic, and political practices (Giddens 1991; Guarnizo 1997; Ostergaard Nielsen 2003; Vertovec 2007). Factors related to religion, cultural heritage, and socio-communicative elements, mediated through parental agency, forge positive ideologies associated with Arabic, and Dariya in particular, due to its mother tongue status. Such ideologies are favorable for the capitalization of the languages of origin in the diaspora and promote their transmission and maintenance within the family context.

3.2. Adolescent Agency in Handling Family Multilingualism

Our analysis of both the ‘Language Tree’ activity and the ‘sociolinguistic survey’ has shown that varieties of Galician and Spanish are also included in the communicative repertoire of these young people. Socialization within the context of school and other spaces outside their family environment is crucial to their acquisition of these two languages. School is of particular importance in that it provides a regular meeting point for both autochthonous and allochthonous groups. One of the results of this situation is that the young Moroccans introduce this new multilingual repertoire into the family space, and consequently, they change the home sociolinguistic regime and its interactional order. Adolescents are essential in articulating families’ multilingual profiles in the sense that their agency is crucial for the introduction of new linguistic varieties at home and is involved in competition with the parental agency. Our analysis has revealed that Dariya/Spanish/Galician/French translingual practices are fairly common among these young people. Indeed, and as we will illustrate in Section 3.3, they admit to using what they refer to as “el mezclado” (the mix)—a kind of Galician Spanish translanguaging of Galician/Dariya/French.
The following two examples, taken from classroom activities intended to reconstruct the language biography, depict adolescent agency in family multilingualism in the case of two families. Example 2 corresponds to a family in which both parents are of Moroccan origin, who moved to Galicia with their children several years ago. In contrast, Example 3 illustrates a mixed family with a Galician mother and a Moroccan father—a family unit that is still relatively uncommon in the community.
Example 2.
Multilingualism in a 1.5 generation family:
1. 
INV: A VER FTM (Voz más alta para propiciar el turno de participación)
2. 
FTM: Con mis padres hablo en árabe
3. 
INV: ¿En árabe marroquí?
4. 
FTM: Sí
5. 
(…)
6. 
FTM: Con con mis hermanos en español
7. 
(…)
8. 
INV: ¿Siempre en español con tus hermanos?
9. 
(…)
10. 
FTM: No siempre, a veces
11. 
MART: [xxx]
12. 
FTM: Con mis vecinos en gallego
13. 
(…)
14. 
FTM: ¡Ei! [Pausa] Con los amigos, en castellano
1. 
[REA: SO, LET US SEE FTM (Speaks louder to encourage turn taking)
2. 
FTM: I speak to my parents in Arabic.
3. 
REA: In Moroccan Arabic?
4. 
FTM: Yes
5. 
(…)
6. 
FTM: And I speak to my brothers and sisters in Spanish.
7. 
(…)
8. 
REA: Do you always speak to your brothers and sisters in Spanish?
9. 
(…)
10. 
FTM: Not always, sometimes.
11. 
MART: [ xxx
12. 
FTM: I speak Galician to the neighbors.
13. 
(…)
14. 
FTM: Hey! [Pause] And Spanish to my mates.]
Example 2 features a girl, FTM, a member of the 1.5 generation. Even though neither she nor her siblings were born in Galicia, both Spanish and Galician form part of their communicative repertoire. FTM reconstructs her language uses through her language biography: Moroccan Arabic with her parents, (occasionally) Spanish with her siblings and friends, and even Galician with her neighbors.
In contrast, Example 3 reveals that for CG, both Spanish and Dariya are transmission languages in the family context:
Example 3.
Multilingualism in a 1.5 generation family:
1. 
CG: Eh os voy a decir esto. Mi abuelo materno habla español y gallego.
2. 
CG: Mi abuela materna habla español y gallego. Mi abuela paterna habla árabe y dariya.
3. 
CG: Mi abuelo paterno habla árabe, francés y dariya. Mi madre habla español y gallego, y marroquí (…) ah no mucho a ver.
4. 
CG: Mi padre español, gallego, francés, dariya, chleuh y tamazight.
5. 
CG:Y yo hablo español, gallego, francés, inglés, árabe y chleuh..poco.
6. 
CG:Y mis hermanos español la mayoría, árabe, francés, inglés y el gallego.
1. 
[CG: Hey, let me say this. My maternal grandfather speaks Spanish and Galician.
2. 
CG: My maternal grandmother speaks Spanish and Galician. My paternal grandmother speaks Arabic and Dariya. My paternal grandfather speaks Arabic, French, and Dariya.
3. 
CG: My mother speaks Spanish and Galician, and Morocco (…) but only a bit, you know.
4. 
CG: My father, Spanish, Galician, French, Dariya, Shelha, and Tashelhyt.
5. 
CG: As for me, I can speak Spanish, Galician, French, English, Arabic, and a bit of Shelha.
6. 
CG: And my brothers and sisters Spanish, most of them, Arabic, French, English, and Galician.]

3.3. Adolescent Agency in Handling New Forms of Language Resistance in Digital Discourse

Social media use plays a key role in young people’s interactional habits. According to the Spanish General Media Study (EGM, based on its Spanish initials) for the period between April 2018 and March 2019 (AIMC 2019), instant messaging, mainly WhatsApp, was a regular form of communication amongst adolescents. Digital conversations are playing an increasingly relevant role in their network of relationships and have therefore become a major agent of socialization in the contemporary world. Technologies have modified habits, and young people today maintain delocalized online relationships regardless of their place of residence. These circumstances are of particular importance in the case of adolescents that maintain a network of relationships in their places of origin, which, as we shall show, provides an insight into new forms of resistance in which multimodal creativity plays an essential role.
As stated above, our ethnographic research included a discussion group in which the respondents reflected on the various languages included in their family trajectories. One of the issues discussed in this group was the way the respondents write when using the WhatsApp chat ([email protected]@s) we activated in order to share metalinguistic reflections on the respondents’ repertoires. Example 4 shows how they applied Arabizi (Allehaiby 2013), the digital encoding of Arabic using the Latin alphabet, to their written digital practices.
Example 4.
Digital script:
1. 
Inv: ¿Cuándo escribís dariya en el chat con alfabeto latino?
2. 
¿cómo lo hacéis de izquierda a derecha o de derecha a izquierda?
3. 
Ou: NORMAL
4. 
Inv: ¿Qué es normal?
5. 
(Se inicia una discusión sobre la dirección en la que escriben. Acompañan con gestos [tienen que pensarlo)
6. 
Fd: Cuando escribimos en alfabeto árabe de derecha a izquierda y en dariya en el chat
7. 
con alfabeto latino y números de izquierda a derecha.
8. 
In: ¿Quién os enseñó a escribir así?, ¿aprendistéis aquí?
9. 
Ou, Mr, Fd [al mismo tiempo] Nos enseñaron en Marruecos a usar el alfabeto latino
10. 
con los números
11. 
(…)
12. 
MR: Por ejemplo yo tuve que aprender los números en el teclado francés (muestran la pantalla del teléfono que reproducimos en la figura 1)
13. 
y además lo que significaba por ejemplo: cv que es ça va
14. 
In: ¿Hace tres años en Marruecos utilizabas WhatsApp?
15. 
Ou: Sí, sí y allí ya cambió
16. 
In: ¿Lo usáis igual que en Marruecos?
17. 
Al mismo tiempo varias: Sí, no xxx (Dudan)
18. 
Inv: ¿Estáis en redes con chicos y chicas de Marruecos y otros lugares de Europa?
19. 
Ou, Mr: Sí sí, de diferentes lugares
1. 
[Rea: When you use the Latin alphabet to write in Dariya on the chat?
2. 
How do you do it? From left to right or from right to left?
3. 
Ou: NORMAL
4. 
Rea: What does normal mean?
5. 
(A discussion starts up regarding the direction in which they write. This is accompanied by gestures, and they have to visualize it)
6. 
Fd: When we use the Arabic alphabet from right to left and from left to right when we
7. 
use Dariya in the Latin alphabet on the chat.
8. 
Rea: Who taught you how to write like that? Did you learn that here?
9. 
Ou, Mr, Fd [all at the same time]: We learned to use the Latin alphabet with numbers
10. 
in Morocco
11. 
(…)
12. 
Mr: For instance, I had to learn how to use numbers with the French keyboard [they show the screen of the phone that we reproduce in Figure 1] as well as what they meant, I mean like ‘cv’ is ça va.
13. 
Rea: Did you use WhatsApp in Morocco three years ago?
14. 
Ou, Mr, Fd: Yes, yes, it had already changed there
15. 
Rea: Do you use it in the same way as in Morocco?
16. 
Several members speak at the same time: Yes, No xxx (They are unsure)
17. 
Rea: Are you in contact via social media with young people from Morocco and other parts of Europe?
18. 
Ou, Mr: Yes, yes, from different places]
It is therefore evident that their network of relationships enables them to introduce multimodal resources into their digital practices that provide identity marks for their group. They use French and Arabizi but also include the new languages acquired in Galicia. Arabizi is used extensively as an alternative for Arabic script in digital technology contexts and social media spaces. This is attributable to the fact that Arabic script lacks the necessary technological tools and online resources. The solution is to use the Latin alphabet but include the change of writing direction and the numbers as an alternative to certain graphemes (Allehaiby 2013). Figure 1 shows the extent to which these resources are used in digital communication.
Various authors have addressed the question of the multimodal features of this type of discourse. One of the key aspects is the inclusion of script, orality, and other semiotic resources (Alcántara 2014; Mancera 2016; Mancera and Pano 2013; Martín Gascueña 2016; Vázquez-Cano et al. 2015). Figure 1 shows that the conversation comprising this brief interaction took place in Spanish, interspersed by emoticons, although the French keyboard was used, together with the use of numbers due to the need to adapt to the Latin script when using Arabic.
We will now consider two examples taken from the WhatsApp chat referred to above. The [email protected]@s group comprised two researchers and eight adolescents, six of whom belong to the 1.5 generation and two who had moved to Arteixo (Galicia) about two years ago. The respondents’ languages were as follows: Moroccan Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic, French, Spanish, and Galician. As Examples 5 and 6 reveal, the adolescents constantly interacted in several languages and semiotic systems. They mixed various types of simplified scripts, alphabets, and icons and employed translation and self-correction tools.
One of the most striking aspects was the construction of narratives that identify the profiles of each participating adolescent. Figure 2 and Figure 3 include some of these young people’s profiles. With one exception, they all featured some form of reference to Morocco: either a flag, phrase, or, in the case of the girls, a semiotic element associated with their traditional clothing. As in the previous sections, these communicative practices were part of the co-construction of the deterritorialized transnational space in which these young people position themselves:
Figure 3 (translation): The text in Moroccan Arabic and French “DimaMaroc” translates to “Always Morocco”.
The examples provided in Figure 4 and Figure 5 show the role of hybrid practices in constructing the delocalized spaces that constitute translanguaging spaces (Wei 2011). As Wei (2011, p. 1223) explains,
“[T]ranslanguaging space is particularly relevant to multilinguals not only because of their capacity to use multiple linguistic resources to form and transform their own lives, but also because the space they create through their multilingual practices, or translanguaging, has its own transformative power informal. It is as space where the process of what Bhabha (1994) calls “cultural translation” between traditions takes place; it is not a space where different identities, values and practices simply co-exist, but combine together to generate new identities, values and practices”:
Figure 4 (translation): WhatsApp chat
Thanks
Not at all!
What time do we start and finish?
We start at 17:30
We finish 19:00
Ah. OK.
I’m not going in the end
Sorry about that
I tell you later
Figure 5 (translation): WhatsApp chat.
Ah, so you’re still awake this late.
Sleep well then
I’m going to sleep now; tomorrow I’ve got to wake up at 7:30
So stop talking and sleep well.
Ok
Bye
Both of these examples contain what we consider to be “translanguaging moments” (Wei 2018). Arabizi, an alternative writing system that uses the Latin alphabet to encode Arabic, was used in both examples. Furthermore, we can observe how language boundaries became blurred during the course of the interactions. The first example began with an adjacency pair (appreciation/minimization), in which A expressed thanks in Spanish and B responded in French before continuing in Dariya. The remainder of the exchange was mainly in Dariya, although Spanish was introduced in the time markers (“in the end” and “later”) and for the expressive speech act of apology (“Sorry about that”). The second example was similar in that it unfolded mainly in Dariya, with the inclusion of Spanish in the time marker (“then”). Essentially, it represents a translanguaging “mix” that challenges the monolingual standards of schools and institutions, as well as the political, geographical, territorial, and linguistic boundaries of the community or nation state they inhabit.
Spontaneous multilingual communicative practices, such as these, are creative forms of language resistance to the use of Modern Standard Arabic and Spanish. They are actions with an embedded indexical value used to address the so-called “translanguaging spaces” (Wei 2011) in which the identities of young Moroccans/Maghrebis in the diaspora are forged.

4. Conclusions

In this article, we have shown how young people of Maghrebi origin form a visible community of practice within the school context, generating new knowledge through shared experiences that enables them to cooperatively acquire and create new hybrid communicative practices, such as Arabizi and the so-called el mezclado (“mix”). In this sense, we have observed their widespread use in digital communicative practice of Arabizi, a non-standardized script system that consists of using the Latin alphabet to write Arabic or Dariya. Moreover, this “mix”, a Spanish/Galician/Dariya/French translanguaging, reveals these young people’s creative skills, which in turn constitutes a major language resistance resource. Our data show that the translingual repertoire of this community of practice comprises a continuum in which the boundaries between languages merge into “translanguaging moments” (Wei 2018), namely indexical spaces for the new identities and values associated with young Moroccans/Maghrebis in the diaspora.
The results of our analysis indicate that these young people also introduce the official languages of the host country into their everyday interactions, namely Spanish and, albeit to a lesser extent, Galician. Local schooling plays a key role in this process. We have also seen how these young people identify closely with Moroccan and Modern Standard Arabic. Cultural, socio-communicative, and religious factors, as well as parental ideology, all contribute to the way this sense of belonging and legacy are associated with the two varieties of Arabic: Moroccan and Modern Standard. Capitalizing on the languages of origin in the diaspora, therefore, creates a favorable setting for the transmission and maintenance of these languages within the family context. As a result, anyone who ceases to speak the language is essentially shunning their identity, moving into the mainstream group, and would consequently lose their cultural and linguistic legacy.
Our ethnographic work and the results of our analysis have enabled us to identify the role played by the various types of habitus and agency (Bourdieu 1977), as processes underlying the emergence of this multilingual repertoire. As discussed in Section 3, this multilingual translingual repertoire stems from the intercrossing of parental and adolescent agency. Indeed, three key processes were observed that converge to form a transnational habitus: (a) parental agency reflected in the transmission and maintenance strategies of the language of origin; (b) adolescent agency in addressing family multilingualism and their language repertoires; and (c) adolescent agency in expressing and highlighting new forms of language resistance in digital discourse.
In conclusion, the data analyzed reveal that deploying translingual multimodal practices is a means of reconstructing the identity of young Maghrebis in the diaspora. Furthermore, these practices can be used to negotiate the tensions produced by various forms of belonging.

Author Contributions

All three authors contributed equally to collecting, processing, and analyzing the data, as well as the writing of this article.

Funding

The data analyzed and discussed in this paper come out of a research project financed by FEDER/Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades—Agencia Estatal de Investigación. FI2016-76425-P.: Project I + D + I Superdiversidad lingüística en áreas periurbanas. Análisis escalar de procesos sociolingüísticos y desarrollo de la conciencia metalingüística en aulas multilingües.

Acknowledgments

We would like to extend our thanks to the anonymous reviewers for their careful reading of our manuscript and for their useful comments.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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1
Spanish and Galician are co-official languages in Galicia.
2
The sociolinguistic survey universe included all pupils enrolled in the municipality’s secondary and baccalaureate schools. We are currently analyzing the data collected.
3
All subjects gave their informed consent for inclusion before they participated in the study.
4
Dariya is the term commonly used to refer to Moroccan and Algerian Arabic.
Figure 1. Digital Script.
Figure 1. Digital Script.
Languages 04 00063 g001
Figure 2. Example 5.
Figure 2. Example 5.
Languages 04 00063 g002
Figure 3. Example 6.
Figure 3. Example 6.
Languages 04 00063 g003
Figure 4. Example 7.
Figure 4. Example 7.
Languages 04 00063 g004
Figure 5. Example 8.
Figure 5. Example 8.
Languages 04 00063 g005
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